More than 70 people from an array of backgrounds and 23 organisations were recognised for their achievements at the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) 2013 Multicultural Awards for Excellence.
VMC Chairperson, Mr Chin Tan said the awards recognise the efforts of people who work hard to bring together Victorians from more than 200 backgrounds and 135 faiths.
“Through the Multicultural Awards for Excellence, the VMC thanks those contributors, who go above and beyond to make a difference for Victoria’s multicultural communities,” Mr Tan said.
“Leading the way this year is regional Victoria, through the inductee to the Honour Roll, Tha Wah, who arrived in Australia as a Burmese refugee and now lives in Bendigo where he supports seniors while being a vital link between schools and families.
“Ballarat City Council is setting a new benchmark for cultural inclusion in local government, and for this they’re the Local Government Award recipients for 2013.
“This year we are pleased to see new and emerging African communities recognised for their contributions, with Somalia-born, North Melbourne resident Ahmed Dini sharing the Ambassador Award with Africa Day Australia.
“Our larger and more established communities were also recognised – Frank Di Blasi of Avondale Heights received the Premier’s Award for Community Harmony for his work pioneering Italian seniors clubs, and Manpreet Kaur-Singh received the Media Award for tackling important issues in the Indian community through SBS radio,” he said.
More than 60 people and organisations received an Award for Meritorious Service to the community and 21 people and organisations received an Award for Service Delivery to Multicultural Victoria among the 10 award categories.
Mr Tan said the prestigious awards attracted more than 200 nominations, showing the breadth and support of people who make Victoria a great place to live.
“The annual Awards for Excellence confirm the Victorian Government’s commitment to promoting Victoria as a multicultural place, with His Excellency the Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria and the Premier of Victoria, the Honourable Denis Napthine presenting awards,” he said.
Awards were also presented by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras, Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell, Minister for Education Martin Dixon, and Chief Commissioner of Police Ken Lay.